Greene County EMS on life support
Greene County Emergency Medical Services is in dire need of financial help, but organization leaders say better days are ahead as long as the community steps up.
The organization’s board hosted a meeting Tuesday, where board members and local leaders gathered for a discussion regarding funding concerns and how to pull Greene County EMS out of financial ruin.
An easy way to do that? Get more funding from the municipalities it serves. Currently, Greene County EMS hasn’t made it onto the budgets of the Greene County Commission, local governments or major employers, but the organization is looking to change that.
“We are pleading to all our municipalities and our other agents, larger employers here in Eutaw to help us and provide the service for the needy,” said GCEMS Board Chair Joe Powell.
GCEMS covers 28 miles of Interstate 20/59 alongside local roads and highways, 42 miles of rail and portions of several surrounding rivers.
Powell said despite the funding pitfalls, he’s optimistic about the organization’s future.
“I would say there is still hope and there’s light at the end of the tunnel,” Powell said.
According to the Alabama Department of Transportation, while 75% of vehicle wrecks happened in urban areas in 2020, 61% of fatal wrecks happened in rural areas.
But wrecks aren’t the only emergencies GCEMS covers on a daily basis. The organization also handles medical transportation, emergency 911 calls and boating incidents alongside less frequent emergencies like train derailments and crimes.
“We will not allow our EMS services to close, so that’s not an issue. Period,” said Forkland Municipal Clerk Kinya Isaac.